In this espisode, Paulette Ensign, shares how she creates easy-to-write booklets that can be repurposed and sold to big companies for HUGE profits and how you can too!
3 Key Points
Sell thousands of booklets at a time by going to big companies who have budgets to pay big money for your content.
Repurpose booklets into different delivery formats companies will pay big money for them.
52 tips booklets are fast and easy to write and can be used in addition to a book or instead of a book depending on your strategy.
Hi and welcome to Episode 101 of the Books Open Doors Podcast.
Today my guest is Paulette Ensign and we’re going to be talking about
creating booklets. So, let’s do this!
Music: Welcome to the Books Open Doors Podcast. Are you a mission-driven speaker, coach, consultant, thought leader, creative entrepreneur, or author who wants more credibility, financial abundance, and wants to make a bigger impact in the world and leave a lasting legacy, and who wants to have fun doing it? Then stay tuned for today’s inspiring podcast with your host, Ellen Violette.
Ellen: Tips Product International and its founder and owner Paulette Ensign help subject matter experts like you convert your knowledge and content into cash online and offline as new and unique income streams, marketing tools, or both with less attachment to your calendar and clock. So, hi, Paulette, welcome to the call.
[01:00] Paulette: Hi, there. How are you doing today, Ellen?
Ellen: I’m good. So, just to let everybody know, I actually first saw Paulette when she was a speaker at Ken Krell’s Pride event. And that is an event that is a free gift for people who come into my program, just so they know. But anyway, I was very impressed with what you had to say and what you’ve done. So, my impression was that whether you want to write books or not, booklets are a very cool way to either supplement or just not get your information out there without having to do a whole book. So, is that true? That’s sort of the-
Paulette: You couldn’t have said it any better than that.
Paulette: Perfect. Tips booklets are an or not an and. I mean, excuse me, they can be an and rather than an or, but either way, it works
[2:02] Ellen: Okay. So why don’t you tell our listeners a little how you got into it and a little more about exactly what it is?
Paulette: Yes. Thank you. I’m delighted to be with you today. And I am looking forward to sharing whatever time we’ve got by giving as much information for people to see things through a different perspective, which is something that is an ongoing event with any time I’m talking about Tips booklets. So, how this happened. I now am in my third career as an adult and the second one, and keep in mind, this is past tense.
I was very early in the industry of professional organizing and productivity, and I don’t do that anymore. However, I am very grateful that the economy kind of zigged and zagged for a while, while I was an organizer and the sales cycle got longer and longer for the consulting and speaking work around that topic. And I had formed these habits called eating and paying the rent. And I wasn’t really keen on breaking either of them.
And as always, the universe provides someone, walked past me with a booklet on how to improve your business communication skills. And I thought, “You know, that couldn’t hurt. Let me just see what that is.” And I looked at it and very glibly as a former east coaster, I said, “I could do one of those in organizing tips.” Well, I threw the original one in a drawer and forgot about it for a while.
Six months later, nothing had changed. Where was that booklet? I had no clue what I was going to do or how I was going to do it. As a firstborn, that never stops me. In fact, that delights me and gets me going. So-
Ellen: I’m a firstborn. Yeah.
[03:50] Paulette: Yeah, yeah. And I didn’t have two nickels to rub together. So, all of the stars and planets aligned be, beautifully for me to create something new. And I did, I did write a tips booklet called, “110 Ideas for Organizing your Business Life”. I didn’t do 101 because that’s too typical. And I ran out of ideas at 110. So again, keep in mind, I had no clue what I was going to do or had any money to do it. I did the first year by sending a copy of the booklet and a cover letter to as many magazine editors as I could find. Keep in mind, this was in 1991, the Internet wasn’t a thing yet.
So, I sat in the yield library with reference directories and hand-copied. I didn’t even do it at the copying machine. And that year, based on all of the publicity excerpts that were written into articles by the editors of these magazines, I sold 50,000 copies one at a time.
Ellen: Oh my God.
[5:06] Paulette: I know 50,000 copies. Tubs of envelopes with money in them arrived at the post office. And what that did also, more importantly on the utilitarian side of doing this, was it got me into all kinds of opportunities that had I been cold calling, I never would’ve accessed. In addition to 50,000 copies got sold, so that helped a little bit with the two nickels that I didn’t have to rub together previously.
One thing led to another. At the end of the first year, someone sent me check for a thousand dollars, and I had no clue what that person thought they were buying. So, I had to call them and okay, I upsold them a little bit. However, that person, first of all, never would’ve reached my target market audience. And I was steeped in volunteer leadership in the industry. So, I could have accessed any of the major manufacturers or distributors in the office-supply industry. My problem was I didn’t have knowledge.
So, at any rate, what this gentleman who sent me a thousand dollars, and when I had spoken with him, he said, “I’d like to use your booklet as this year’s holiday greeting to all of my clients, prospects, colleagues, friends, former friends, family, former family. And could I possibly ask you if we could have our name and our phone number on the cover?” And I said, sure, no problem. I had no clue how, but I would get it done. Then he asked a consummate question. He said, “Listen, I’ve got a favorite ask you.” I said, “Sure. If I can, I’m happy to.” “Would it be okay with you to leave your contact information and your company name in the booklet?” “Yeah, that would be fine.”
[07:06] And as I’ve mentioned, I did upsell and he ended up buying 2,500 copies to get me to places I never would’ve gotten to before. And that prompted additional large quantity orders from the people who received them, who used the booklet as a promotional tool for their own purposes. From that point on, after the first year, thirty years ago, I changed my business model completely and only teach and do bulk sales and licensing of content.
I do not go anywhere near Amazon or bulk stores at all. I only go near companies, associations, and other individuals who may want to utilize the content, and I’m stressing the content because until five years ago, I was known as the Booklet Queen among other things, but that was one of the better ones. And about five years ago, people started saying to me, well, nobody’s printing anymore.
And rather than fight that battle because it certainly was not true. I took quite a while and figured out how to rebrand my company to Tips Products, which it was always called, but leading with content because as soon as a subject-matter expert has a manuscript of 52 how-to tips that is saleable even if it’s only on a word document.
Those tips can be licensed to a company who wants to drip a tip a week on their mailing list to stay top of mind and not have to produce anything just put it into their communication mechanism, that they are staying in contact already with their lists.
[09:08] And that’s one example among many as to why large quantity sales. I mean, I love getting $4 and $5 payments, four, five, and six-digit payments at a time. And that is helpful to everybody. It’s helpful to the recipients of the information. It’s helpful to whoever the buyer has been. And it’s certainly helpful to my company.
[09:40] Ellen: Absolutely. So, what I loved about what you said is, and what most people don’t think about is, well, in the beginning, you were selling them one on one, right?
Ellen: To magazines, but then that led to bulk orders.
Paulette: Yes. And the other thing too is I was selling it to the readers of the magazine because what I sent to the magazine was a copy of the booklet, a cover letter, inviting the editor to excerpt from my booklet.
Ellen: Oh, I see.
Paulette: And that meant I was getting editorial coverage, not advertising, but they were marketing me that way.
Ellen: Very smart.
Paulette: And it was what my logic came up with because I have no training in business. Only now I feel the need-
Ellen: I know. Isn’t that great when you just come up with something and it works?
Because there’s so many things that you try and they don’t work, so.
[10:38] Paulette: And the importance here too is that a lot of people are motivated by helping, by being a helper. And they’re not necessarily motivated by money. I respect it, although I don’t understand it. It’s not my wiring and now-
Ellen: That’s interesting because when I started it was about money. And then I reached a point after I was making six figures where it wasn’t about money anymore because it was otherwise, it’s like, “Is that all there is?
Ellen: It’s like I needed a bigger purpose.
Paulette: And in fact, the only way that we really can help people is by sustaining our own businesses.
Paulette: It’s the old story on the airplane take the oxygen first so that you can be helpful to other people. Same is true in our business.
Ellen: Absolutely true. Yeah. I wanted to say that, let’s see, I guess it was still last year. It seems so long ago with COVID and everything, but I helped Terry Levine crowdfund her book. What is it? Conversion Equation and-
Paulette: Terry and I know each other.
[11:47] Ellen: Oh yeah. Well, she was having a little bit of difficulty with it. And so, she brought me on board and what we discovered was working was selling bundles of books because, in crowdfunding, they only give you a certain amount of time. So, how are you going to sell thousands of books in 30 or 45 days? You have to be selling bundles. You cannot sell one at a time and meet those demands.
Paulette: Well, to that point, I have personally sold well over a million and a half copies of my one tips booklet in four different languages and various formats without spending a penny on advertising.
Ellen: That’s fantastic.
[12:27] Paulette: The only way that that could happen is licensing, which is renting out your content, which can be very lucrative and selling in bulk thousands of copies to a single buyer. So, one of the things though, Ellen, I think that would be very helpful for our listeners and our viewers to know is what the heck a tip is.
Ellen: Well, I was going to ask you that next. Okay. Go on.
Paulette: Well, thanks. You and I could probably talk for days on end without running out of things to talk about. So, here’s one that almost anyone can relate to. I’ll tell you the tip first , and then give you some background on that.
Here’s the tip: Take the largest item from the pile first. That’s an easy way to make the pile smaller and more approachable. Now that tip has saved lives and it has really allowed and I’m not being silly about it because it really has. Think about when you’re moving and the overwhelm. And I know that you’ve moved several times as I have I.
Paulette: When you look at a pile rather than continuing to touch those things multiple times, do a psychological assist. Take the biggest thing out, whether it’s paper, whether it’s clothing, whether it’s anything, take the biggest thing out first, instantly that’s instant gratification right there. The pile is now smaller, and it allows to keep going. Now professional organizers make light of that kind of information because they all know it.
[14:14] However, I spoke with an otherwise very intelligent friend who was helping his mom downsize and move. And I said to him, take the biggest thing out of the room first. I mean, that’s a pile. Now that tip I gave was twenty words and the value of the tips, no matter what your area of expertise is when you are delivering that information in any of a zillion different delivery formats, that information is either brand new. It is a reminder of what you knew already and forgot, or it’s confirmation from a perceived expert, and you can puff your chest out and go, that expert just said what I already knew.
Ellen: Yeah. Right.
[15:03] Paulette: And hot spit. So, the value is something that really is important. And when so many of us are freely and frequently giving our information and our knowledge away where we share it with readers, listeners, and audiences capturing fifty-two of those tips, boom, you’ve got a subscription that you can license to a company or an association that makes money that is basic, common, plain, simple English. And you’re being helpful to a whole bunch of entities all at once. Fifty-two is the magic number. Yeah.
Ellen: I have to say though. I mean, I know some people think, “Oh, well tips, you know, tips are not valuable.” But you’ve just showed how tips can be very valuable.
Paulette: Oh yeah. And here’s another one to licensing too.
[16:10] Paulette: As a professional organizer, I had information that certainly was about paper, time, and space. Well, a company like Office Depot or Staples, licensing them fifty-two tips that can easily fit into the morning drive-time radio advertising they’re already doing, where they can slip a very brief, yet powerful tip into that radio advertising that they can choose to connect it to a particular product that they’re promoting for a certain period of time.
Ellen: WOW! That’s awesome.
[16:50] Paulette: So, yeah. And they are very typically spending a chunk of change on that advertising. So, it’s not like you are asking them to spend more money for a delivery process. They’re already doing that. And to have fifty-two tips tied with the bow on top from a perceived expert, makes it so much easier than assigning a salaried employee to first research the information, then get it into a succinct, pithy kind of format that will fit into a thirty or a sixty-second spot. That’s what I teach. So, that content that you feel like might be throwaway stuff, it is definitely valuable.
Ellen: That’s great. I have a question about the bundles though.
[17:50] Ellen: When we did the bundles, what we found was that her target audience wasn’t that interested in the books. So, we had to come up with something to tie it to where the books were an extra. So, I was curious how you sold the bundles.
Paulette: Well, here’s what I say about the books. Booklets serve both as a marketing tool and/or a revenue stream. Having the booklets first to lay a trail of breadcrumbs, leading up to the books in those large quantity sales that we’re both referencing here right now. One of the big downfalls for me, when I mentioned that I didn’t have knowledge in going to the corporations.
I have never worked in a corporation. My first career was I taught string instruments, violin, viola, cello, and bass in public elementary schools. So, that was enough bureaucracy for me. I didn’t want to go anywhere near corporations. And I thought those buildings would devour me whole.
Ellen: [Inaudible] way.
[19:00] Paulette: No joke. I really did. At any rate, walking into a conversation, whether it’s physically walking in or any other way that we now have, if I only have one product, which for a long time I did, the conversation’s going to be a yes or no conversation. Instead, I now have continuously taught my subject-matter experts and anybody else who’ll listen to create multiple offers of the content of the booklet.
And yes, if they have a book or are thinking about having a book, have the book be one of the choices. So, the conversation now is “Which one of these is our starting point?” rather than do you want to buy a book or not rather than do you want to buy a booklet or not?
So, in that way, you’re giving the decision-maker the opportunity to do a whole bunch of things at once. A lot of the delivery methods of the booklet don’t exist yet. They are on a product sheet that the decision-maker is looking at. The book may exist already. The booklet may exist already. However, a card deck or an audio or a game or, or, or, or don’t exist yet.
Ellen: But telling you, what about the thing where people say, if you give people choices, they won’t do anything?
Paulette: Well, here’s the difference.
Paulette: Yeah. You don’t want to give too many choices because overwhelm equals no.
Ellen: Equals no sale.
Paulette: However, when we do three, four, or five products on a product sheet and at clearly, they are different prices. And also, the decision maker’s learning style is typically what influences the purchase.
Ellen: Oh, okay.
[21:01] Paulette: And keep one other thing in mind that high-level decision-maker in the marketing area, for instance, were sales high-level. They are charged with typically four promotional campaigns a year, at least. They have to be brilliant. What’s the delivery? What’s the vehicle that they’re going to utilize for each of those promotional campaigns? Well, we’ve got things that are downloadable and we’ve got things that are tangible.
We’ve got things that appeal to different learning styles, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, that card deck or a puzzle. It might be a jigsaw puzzle if it’s appropriate or it can be a crossword puzzle to interact with that content. We’ve got ways to deliver that information in different formats, different price points, so that the decision-maker has multiple options to test out the results.
Ellen: That’s a good point. That’s a good point.
[22:16] Paulette: So, when you’re dealing with somebody in that context, it’s very different than dealing with an end-user, very different. So, those are things to keep in mind. And when you’re talking about bundles, one of the choices on the product sheet can be combining several different formats of the information, so that can be one of the choices to sell in bulk. And when I say bulk, I’m not talking about ten at a time. I’m talking about thousands at a time.
[22:53] Paulette: And in fact, the first licensing deal I ever did was with a very well-known consumer mail-order catalog company in its day. It has since been sold and it doesn’t bear any similarity to what it looked like. However, they licensed the right to print a quarter of a million copies of my booklet. Now being a catalog company in those days, they basically had the proverbial printing press in their basement. Now, the reality is they probably had a commercial printer that they had a very, very good relationship with.
Ellen: Also, if you’re buying thousands and thousands, you get a good deal anyway.
Ellen: Yeah. Yeah.
Paulette: The year that they licensed the quarter of a million copies for me, they were dropping seventeen million catalogs that year. So, a quarter of a million was the test for them. That was dipping their big toe in the water. A lot of us solopreneurs are not used to dealing with numbers like that. However-
Ellen: Right. Think bigger.
Paulette: … their check for $12,500 for that licensing deal cleared my checking account beautifully. Thank you very much.
[24:12] Ellen: Right. Right. Awesome. So why don’t you tell people how they can contact you?
Paulette: The best way at this moment is tipsproducts.com. That has all of the other contact information, including a way to schedule some time to chat with me, either in a Zoom call or a phone call. Tips products with S’s on the end of them, tipsproducts.com.
Ellen: Great. Well, thank you so much for coming on. This has been awesome.
Paulette: My pleasure, Ellen.
Ellen: Well, that’s it for today. To get the transcript go to https://www.booksopendoors.com. If you want to write your own book or write books faster or easier, be sure to pick up the Rockstar Authors toolkit. It’s got three checklists in it for writing, doing your titles, and the 21 Simple Strategies to Jumpstart your Book Marketing Online, which is the companion to the book and also the Kindle Planner. So, that’s it for now.
Till next time. Bye-bye.
Music: You’ve been listening to the Books Open Doors Podcast, with your host, Ellen Violette. If you’d like to connect with other mission-driven speakers, coaches, consultants, thought leaders, founders, creative entrepreneurs, and authors who are changing the world one book at a time, join us in the Books Open Doors community at facebook.com/groups/booksopendoors. Let’s rock your business with books.
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